The 2008 Fuerteventura PWA Grand Slam – Day Three
A colourful backdrop of slalom eliminations and full fleet racing shook things up for a third successive day of nerve racking competition.
Two race eliminations, and two full fleet races were completed in the men’s and women’s fleets. Winning the men’s eliminations were Finian Maynard (RRD, NeilPryde) and Bjorn Dunkerbeck (T1, North). The men’s full fleet races were won by Antoine Albeau (Starboard, NeilPryde) and Micah Buzianis (JP, NeilPryde, MFC).
In the women’s fleet, Valerie Ghibaudo (Tabou, The Loft) continued to dominate, winning both race eliminations and one full fleet race. Karin Jaggi claimed victory in the remaining full fleet race.
Race 5: Kick starting the day’s proceedings in a fresh 15-30 knot wind, the first round of heats followed a relatively predictable path to the semi finals. Moving into the race final, all the big names stood poised to do battle.
Accelerating off the start line, Maynard showed why he’s one of the fastest men in windsurfing, “I had a real good start, the water was nice and flat and the wind wasn’t gusting too much. My 7.8m seemed to be the right choice, and after taking the lead on the first reach, I held onto it right to the finish line”. This marked Maynard’s first victory of the event so far. Behind him, Kevin Pritchard (Starboard, Gaastra, MFC, Dakine) finished in second, and Benoit Moussilmani (F2, Simmer) in third. Surprisingly, Albeau never threatened the podium positions, and ended up taking an uncharacteristic sixth place.
Race 6: Jossin (F2, The Loft), Ten Hoeve (Fanatic) and Benoit Moussilmani didn’t help their causes by false starting in the opening round of heat. Hawkins (Exocet, NeilPryde) also fell victim to his own over enthusiasm, false starting in the subsequent semi final.
Moving into the final, Albeau tightened his grip, but not enough to stop Dunkerbeck from passing him, and sailing to his first race win. Albeau had to settle for second place, having never threatened Dunkerbeck, and Allen (Tabou, Gaastra) found his form to bag a solid third position finish.
Full Fleet Action - Race 7: Fifty one racers jostled for position before a mammoth rabbit start to christen the first full fleet race. The spectacular format tests competitors’ physical endurance, as well as tactical know how. In this case, the man with both qualities was seasoned victor, Albeau.
Breaking away and aided by clean wind, Albeau consolidated his lead as the race progressed, and ultimately won in style by a whopping margin. Fighting their own battle, Buzianis, Pritchard and Dunkerbeck were never far apart.
Eventually separating them, the final race section of tighter gybes rewarded Pritchard with second place, Dunkerbeck third, and Buzianis fourth.
Race 8: The second full fleet race turned things on their head. Poor starts by many of the big names saw Albeau finish in 21st, Pritchard, 16th, Dunkerbeck 17th, and Maynard failed to complete the race after sustaining an injury from a catapult on the start line.
Ever consistent, Buzianis remained deadly focused, and was rewarded with first position, with opportunists Volwater (F2, North) and Cyril Moussilmani (Fanatic, North Sails) padding out the podium in second and third respectively. As it stands in the overall results so far Albeau maintains his grip on the event lead but after today’s racing Buzianis has closed the gap and the pressure is now on the world champion to make no more errors.
Races 6 & 7: Ghibaudo was untouchable in her familiar first position, claiming two more back to back victories in races 6 and 7. Offringa (Starboard, NeilPryde) and Jaggi also dialed into the conditions. Jaggi’s experience rewarded her with a third and a second, and a similarly impressive performance handed Offringa a commendable second and fourth.
Ex RSX racer, Korzitz also continued her run of solid results, finishing third in race seven.
Full Fleet Races 8 & 9: Jaggi returned to dominate the first of the 15 strong, full fleet races, weaving her way around the gybes to emerge the conclusive victor. Joining her on the podium, Moreno (North) dug deep to hold off Ghibaudo and take second. Ghibaudo made do with a respectable third place.
The final race of the day was lead by Jaggi, who looked set to dominate proceedings until she fell gybing around the penultimate mark. Seizing the opportunity, Ghibaudo slipped past to claim her seventh race win. Moreno mimicked her previous race with another second, with Nagoshi (Simmer, Dakine) close behind in third. Jaggi paid a hefty price for her fall, eventually finishing in fourth.
Tomorrow’s skippers meeting is scheduled for 10.30am, with the racers hitting the water from 11.00am onwards. Be sure to tune into pwaworldtour.com to follow all of day three’s trials and tribulations. On the site you’ll be able to:
* Use our live ticker service
* Check elimination ladders
* View results
* Watch amazing video action clips
* Read the daily news summaries
* Browse awesome action photo galleries
For more information please contact the PWA office via firstname.lastname@example.org
© PWA / Andrew Buchanan